With the people, if someone wants to play a video games, you buy an expensive computer or a console. If you want to play with your friends you either hook it up to the internet or you struggle to get the damn thing over to your friends house and hook them all up to the local modem. It’s not easy. Only recently did I hear about the notion of gaming cafés. They’re like internet cafés but come with popular games installed so that everyone in the café can play together.
It’s a nifty idea that no one ever seems to have thought of here. After looking a couple of them up I realised I had walked past a couple before but never really thought about it, disregarding them as the boring internet versions. Even still, they always seem to be empty. The only time I’ve ever seen more than two people in one of these cafés is in my briefs forays into chinatown, but I didn’t really notice what they were playing. The notion of having to leave home and go somewhere I’m not socially comfortable with is totally foreign to me.
The idea could be kind of cool though. Personally I like to play Magic: The Gathering. For the uninitiated it’s like playing the grown up version of Pokemon cards. For the initiated I’m sorry but that’s the fastest way to make people unfamiliar understand what’s going on without a lengthy explanation. You can’t play a paper card game online so I have gone to events to play with people I don’t know and made new friends. I guess it’s the same with the gaming cafés, going somewhere to both enjoy your hobby and play with like-minded people.
The more I think about this the more I wish that I was old enough to remember the game arcades of yesteryear, here people were almost forced together to play together, to compete together, to share a hobby. Which was something I never had. For me, games were never that social an aspect of my life until recently, which I think is a product of me living in Australia where physical sports are much more popular and sports personalities can become celebrities.